Tuesday 18 September 2018

When I was thinking about what to write about for my next blog post, the lines were slightly blurred between ways I'm trying to save more money and how I'm planning to live a more minimalist lifestyle and I guess in the end both ideas overlap in some sense. Living a minimalist lifestyle is ' the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.' For most, it means minimising the amount of materialistic things in your life and the amount of meaning you give to them, and instead spend more time and energy focusing on our health, relationships, passions and personal growth. For me right now, it's looking around my room and thinking 'I have so much stuff here that I haven't touched in 6 months, why do I still have it?' Here are some small ways I'm trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle. 

1. Own things that add value to my life. 

This doesn't mean I'm going to go and throw away all of my Pandora rings because a. they're expensive and b. they're pretty - but will buying more of them add any value to my life? Not really. It just adds to more things I have to be careful of not losing (as I write this I just went to check if they were in my gym bag because I chucked them in there before). So going forward I want to make sure most of the things I purchase will either make my life easier, bring me joy or hold some sort of meaning. Note, I will never regret spending money on Kit Kat McFlurry's. 

2. Read more carefully (or freely). 

In a lot of my goal posts I talk about wanting to read more books or aiming for X amount a month - which usually means more money and reading more 'at the surface'. I've been borrowing books from the library for the past few months so cost hasn't been the issue, but I have found I've been rushing books just because I want to hand them in on time and squeeze more in to the month. I'm getting a kindle for Christmas (finally) so that will minimise the amount of space being taken up on my shelf, and I want to take my time with books and not just read them to tick another one off the list. For some recommendations you can head to my post on all the books I've read this year

3. One in/one out (with clothing).

My mum would probably be happy to hear this one because she's constantly lecturing us about not buying any more clothes and throwing out old ones. I'm a bit of a hoarder in the sense that I'll keep a dress that doesn't even go below my butt anymore just because it was my favourite dress when I was 16. One thing I need to do this with is gym clothing - I have enough sets to last me two weeks and yet half of them are going unused (have been pushed to the back of the draw). So I am going to make it a point to throw away anything that makes me feel like a potato. 

4. Start a capsule wardrobe.

This is something I've seen online a couple of times and have still yet to try. It's basically choosing a certain amount of staple items in your wardrobe (21 seems to be the norm?) and mix and match them. I guess this would save me time in the morning when I give myself 5 minutes to find an outfit for work because I'm too lazy to plan it the night before. 

5. Cooking with what I've got. 

I remember my first year of university my mum went through every isle of Asda with me and bought all the necessities I'd need for my first month or two at uni - mayo, 6 cans of tuna, sweetcorn, peas. When it came time to move out in June there were still cans of peas and sweetcorn sitting in the back of the cupboard. I had the bad habit of buying things on impulse without thinking what I already had left in my fridge/pantry. So now it's time to do the opposite and work from what I got. 

6. Only buy new make-up when I've run out. 

I'm actually pretty good at this already! The only excess form of make-up I own is eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks, because you can never own too many shades of reds. I'm all for testing new mascaras, eyeliners etc when I've run out of mine but I don't see the point in owning 5 at a time - it's not like I can apply them all at once!

7. Travel lighter. 

I travel with hand luggage 80% of the time, unless I'm going further afield. I'm planning a 3 week trip to Japan/Philippines next year and I know it will make my life 100% easier if I can get through it with just a cabin sized backpack. It might mean recycling the same 4 outfits but it also means less weight on my back and being able to keep track of everything I have with me - and not pointlessly searching for things. 

8. Be smarter with my money. 

So after my whole iPhone being stolen fiasco, I went into town and went into every electronic shop to make sure I got the best deal (because it was going to hurt my bank account enough) and managed to replace my iPhone for £90 less than what it was selling for at the Apple store - with a little help from my dad and his tactics. To minimise my spendings on 'materialistic' things I want to actually make it a point to use discounts and find deals - whether it be to find a cheap watch*, or savings at Aldi. 

9. Stop keeping things because I feel guilty about throwing them. 

I'm not talking about sentimental value, because I like looking back at letters, tickets etc. of life experiences and being reminded of the memory. However, how many times have you received a gift from someone and had no intention of ever using it? Probably not often, but it happens. So instead it's either time to say goodbye or donate it! (please don't try and regift it). 

10. Stop caring about what people will think of my 'image'. 

I guess this is the whole point of materialism  - we buy things because they give us instant gratification and for some people it has a lot to do with how other people will perceive them. I sometimes hear people comment on how 'so and so' is always wearing the same coat or that their trainers aren't branded. Maybe they're just fine for what they need? Going back to point 7, travelling lighter also means that my Instagram is going to be full of the same 5 outfits and my favourite red bikini but hey! it's the view that counts right? (the location that is, not me). 

So that's it for now! I'd love to actually learn a bit more about it and if I do manage to stick to it I'll be sure to follow up in a couple of months about my findings...Have any of you ever considered or do follow a minimalist lifestyle? 



minimalist lifestyle

* This post was written in collaboration with Latest Deals but all words and opinions are my own *

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